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ShopBop launches an online wedding boutique for hip brides

March 21, 2011 | 10:31 am

Thjread It seems everyone's diving into the wedding apparel biz these days, so it was only a matter of time before, one of the biggest online retailers of contemporary fashion, joined the fray.

The site, which is owned by Inc., launched an online wedding boutique last week to showcase a selection of well-priced gowns and bridesmaid dresses curated with its fashion-forward customer in mind.

Bridal gowns from great diffusion brands including Thakoon Edition, Halston Heritage and Notte by Marchesa, along with Lela Rose, Thread, Ports 1961 and Jenni Kayne range from ruffled and formal to casual and beachy.

Styles skew to the nontraditional, and roughly half of the 20 current looks in the shop weren't designed specifically as wedding or bridesmaid dresses.

The Jenni Kayne look, for example, is essentially a floor-length white tank top, while a simple, long-sleeved jersey dress with bat-wing sleeves from Calvin Klein Collection was likely meant to be a dramatic black tie look.

"At market we're constantly looking at gowns and thinking, 'What an amazing wedding dress,' " said Kate Ciepluch, ShopBop's fashion director. "We really wanted to speak to a girl who didn’t want to go in to your average bridal store and try on dresses that were run-of-the-mill. We were really trying to stay true to the ShopBop aesthetic —a fashion-forward person who takes risks."

Ciepluch added, "Our girls are really savvy, and they know exactly what they want. They want to see dresses in a really quick manner."

And though buying a wedding dress on ShopBop deprives you of that attentive bridal shop salesgirl, "you can order five styles and try them on at home" with no risk, said Ciepluch, since the retailer offers free shipping and returns. 

Prices for wedding dresses range from $495 for a one-shouldered mini-dress from Thread to $6,000 for a beaded Lela Rose gown.

-- Emili Vesilind

Credit: Thread gown at Credit: ShopBop